Water-based varnish – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
One of the main functions of the varnish is to care for and protect our furniture and wooden surfaces, against the aggressions caused by intensive use, the climate and the passage of time. However, beyond fulfilling this task, water-based varnishes are products that cause a minimal impact on our health and the environment. One of the best on the market could be Jovira Intemperie, a water-based varnish for exteriors that beautifies and cares for your furniture in three different finishes. Another recommended option could be Promade Polyurethane, a colorless product with high resistance to abrasion and suitable for interiors.
The 9 Best Water-Based Varnishes – Opinions 2022
Choosing the right product for the maintenance and care of furniture or wooden surfaces is a matter that could be complicated with so many options available on the market. Therefore, below, you will find 9 of the best water-based varnishes recommended by many.
Water-based varnish for wood
1. Jovira Outdoor Varnish Decorates and beautifies exterior wood
This Jovira product could be considered one of the best water-based varnishes of 2022, as it protects your floors and furniture exposed to the elements. To do this, it has a UV filter that copes with the sun’s rays. It also has hydrophobic properties that repel water, so that the wood does not absorb it and thus preserve its qualities for longer.
Likewise, it offers great performance, since it is capable of covering 12 to 15 square meters per liter; depending on the surface to be treated. Similarly, it is a water-based varnish for wood that dries quickly to the touch, so it only takes 4 to 6 hours to be ready. In addition to this, it is easy to apply and you will receive it ready for use; without having to add extra thinning agents.
Due to its prestige, high quality and track record in the market, Jovira could be the best brand of water-based varnishes. Next, more details of one of his best varnishes.
Adherence: It is a product that offers great adherence and elasticity, which favors great coverage and durability against external agents.
Application: For its application you can use a brush, roller or spray gun, depending on your skill.
Variety: You can choose between matte, gloss or satin finish; It is also available as a spray and in a 2.3 liter bottle.
Plastic: If you need to paint a plastic part, this product may not be the most suitable for this material.
Water-based polyurethane varnish
2. Promade ABPB104 Polyurethane or water -based varnish
If you are looking for the best water-based varnish, you should consider high resistance to wear and tear among its most important properties. You can find this quality in this water-based polyurethane varnish, a product that gives you hardness, beautiful finishes and superior protection to that offered by its peers.
It is a varnish designed to be applied to interior furniture, especially those of intensive use. Thanks to the polyurethane present in its composition, it is a product that offers varnished objects great resistance to abrasion, wear and detergents; so it can withstand washing without deteriorating.
Likewise, it is a colorless product that respects the original tone of the piece. In addition, it does not have an odor or dangerous components added to its formulation; it also offers you an easy application and its finish is glossy.
It is a highly resistant varnish, which also stands out for its transparent quality that does not interfere with the natural grain of the wood. We invite you to analyze its strengths and weaknesses.
Application: It is a colorless varnish that is prepared and ready for use, without the need to mix it with any thinner.
Durability: Given its formula that is highly resistant to intensive use, once applied it does not crack or crack.
Presentation: It is presented in two bottles, 4 liters and 750 ml; that you can choose according to your needs.
Matte: A presentation with a matte finish is missing.
Matt water-based varnish
3. Jovira Crystal Varnish Floors Polyurethane wood care
With the passage of time, the deterioration of wooden floors is inevitable, mainly those that are exposed to constant traffic. That is why, if you are considering giving your surfaces an extra layer of protection, this matte water-based varnish could be the most suitable option to renew your floors like a professional.
It is a product that gives you resistance to friction, shock and intensive use. It also offers ultra fast drying, in just 2 hours the floor will be dry to the touch. Likewise, it is highly transparent and gives surfaces a shiny finish, leaving them looking like new.
On the other hand, you will be able to varnish from 12 to 16 square meters of surface with just one liter of varnish; which speaks of its yielding quality.
Due to its performance and high quality, this product stands out as the best water-based varnish of the moment. Here is a summary of its advantages and disadvantages.
Resistance: It is a product of high hardness, resistant to wear and intensive use.
Use: Suitable for using and keeping your wooden surfaces in good condition, whether indoors or outdoors.
Colorless: Once applied and the drying time has elapsed, the treated surface retains its natural color.
Drying: For a complete drying of the surface, once you have repainted, it is advisable to wait 3 to 4 days.
Water-based varnish for parquet
4. Cedria Varnish Parquet Stairs to Water Vitrifier
If you have parquet floors and you are looking for the best water-based varnish that provides care and protection to this elegant surface, you could consider this Cedra product.
It is a colorless varnish with a satin finish, designed to cover and prolong the useful life of interior parquet surfaces; either on stairs, bar counters, kitchens, gyms, platforms or intensively used floors subject to abrasion.
It is a water-based varnish for parquet that is odour-free and respectful of the environment. Likewise, among its qualities, its vitrifying properties stand out; as it offers a shiny and easy-to-clean surface. It also provides warmth to the wood, thanks to the urethane resins present in its formula and it dries in just 30 minutes at a temperature of 20°C.
When it comes to protecting and vitrifying your parquet surfaces, this varnish could be the one. Next, its advantages and disadvantages.
Sizes: The manufacturer offers you 3 different sizes: 750 ml, 4L and 20L, so you can choose the most convenient one.
Utility: It is suitable for vitrifying and protecting stairs, platforms, floors and any parquet surface.
Resistance: It has a high chemical resistance against cleaning products and intensive traffic.
Exteriors: It is a varnish for internal use, so its application on surfaces exposed to the elements is not recommended.
Water-based varnish for exterior
5. Xylazel M111917 Exterior water-based varnish
If your home has free areas such as a terrace, balcony or garden and you have wooden objects exposed to the elements; You should know that to enjoy these spaces it is essential to carry out proper maintenance, in order to keep every detail of the wood in perfect condition, and thus prolong its usefulness for longer.
In this sense, a water-based varnish for exteriors, such as this Xylazel product, could be the right tool to prevent abrasion and weather from damaging your furniture or wooden floors. It is an acrylic copolymer aqueous dispersion varnish, which favors high resistance to water and humidity.
Likewise, it has special filters and UV resins that protect surfaces constantly exposed to sunlight. In addition, it is a colorless and fast-drying product, and the surface can be ready in 30 minutes.
If you don’t know which water-based varnish to buy to protect your furniture or outdoor surfaces, this product could be an option to consider. Check out more details below.
Performance: It is a high-performance varnish, since you can apply it in areas of 14 to 18 m2 per liter, depending on the surface.
Fast drying: Once the piece of wood has been varnished, it could be dry in 30 minutes.
Finishes: It offers a shiny and transparent finish without added color, so it respects the original wood.
Odour: When applying the varnish on the surface, a perceptible odor is generated. However, after drying it disappears.
Water-based satin varnish
6. Proa Satin Varnish Interior Water fast drying
If you need to maintain the beauty of your wooden pieces without spending a fortune, you could consider this water-based satin varnish from Proa. Not only is it one of the cheapest products on the market, but its quality is also comparable to high-end varnishes. For this reason, it could be considered the best value for money water-based varnish, given its performance and affordable cost.
Its formula is specially designed to apply to surfaces in interior spaces. Likewise, its performance allows you to cover between 8 and 12 m2 for each liter; which could vary according to the surface to be treated.
The manufacturer offers you 7 different shades with satin and natural finishes; in turn, you can also choose the transparent option so as not to modify the color of the piece. In addition, its presentation is given in three different sizes.
This is an economical and efficient satin varnish, which you could take into account in your comparison. Here are the highlights of this product.
Fast drying: After an hour after its application, the varnish could be dry to the touch.
Satin: It has a silky satin finish, which offers a decorative touch to surfaces.
Functionality: It provides you with high coverage and protection against abrasion, so it beautifies and protects the wood at the same time.
Viscosity: It has turned out to be more viscous than expected. However, you could dilute it with water following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Water-based acrylic varnish
7. Jafep Aqua Varnish Water-based washable acrylic exteriors
If you are looking to protect your wooden furniture from external agents, or simply want to enhance its colors and give new life to pieces worn by time; You could consider this water-based acrylic varnish, a product that could cover your decorative needs.
It is a high-quality varnish that prolongs the useful life of your furniture or wooden objects exposed to the elements. This is possible thanks to its formula specially designed to deal with extreme conditions and environments, since it has a water base and filtering additives that deal with UV rays.
Likewise, given its ease of use, you do not need to be an expert to apply it correctly; for which it admits roller, brush or gun. In addition to this, it offers you high performance and the possibility of diluting it in water if necessary.
It is a varnish that stands out among the cheapest on the market for its high quality. Read some of its most relevant features below.
Anti fungus: It is a varnish capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and environments, preventing the formation of fungi due to humidity.
Colours: In addition to the colorless varnish, you have the possibility to choose between five available tones, the one that best suits your needs.
Filtering additives: It is a varnish that resists UV rays, so it can be applied to outdoor furniture.
Glossy finish: If you prefer matte tones in your pieces, the glossy finish of this varnish might not be what you are looking for.
Glossy water-based varnish
8. Adler Aqua Cryl CFB for water-based wood
Thanks to today’s technological advances, varnishing surfaces is no longer an exclusive task for professionals; On the contrary, it is a job that anyone can do without any risk. Such is the case of this glossy water-based varnish, a water-based product that is easy to apply to any interior wooden object.
It is a varnish formulated under rigorous production standards and has flame retardant qualities. It is also toxic and odor free, which is why it is recommended for varnishing children’s toys. Likewise, you can use it to cover walls, ceilings, doors and all kinds of furniture.
In addition to this, it offers you high mechanical and chemical resistance, without neglecting the aesthetic component that it gives to your spaces. To do this, it is available in three different finishes: matte, semi-matte and glossy.
This varnish is a high-quality and highly resistant product that could meet your expectations. We present a summary of its main aspects.
Finishes: You can choose the transparent varnish of your choice, among three different finishes.
Resistance: It is a water-based varnish that offers resistance to saliva, sweat, grease, cream and intensive use.
Friendly: It has an environmentally friendly aqueous formula, since it does not give off odors and is free of toxins.
Size: A presentation that offers a larger size is missing, in order to be able to varnish large surfaces.
Colorless water-based varnish
9. Jafep Water-based Lasur Open-pore wood protector
When you are looking for an effective treatment to care for and decorate wood, while preserving a natural touch and appearance, one of the best options is to opt for a colorless water-based varnish for open-pore wood, such as this Jafep product.
It is a treatment that preserves the natural appearance and texture of the wood, while preventing the proliferation of fungi. It also has a UV filter that protects against solar radiation; so your furniture or surfaces exposed to the weather will not suffer any damage.
On the other hand, it offers you an easy and fast application. In addition, the manufacturer has two sizes to choose from: 4 liters and 750 ml and also three types of finishes: satin, matte and glossy, depending on your style and preferences.
It is an open pore varnish that provides efficacy to protect wood in any environment. Pay attention to its pros and cons.
Application: It is an easy to apply varnish, for which you can use a roller, spray gun, brush and even the Airless technique.
Variety: You can choose from a wide range of shades and three different finishes, depending on your decoration.
Preservative: It has an anti-mould preservative, which favors the preservation of the treated pieces.
Color: With some shades, you may obtain the desired color once the piece or surface has dried completely.
This guide to buying the best water-based varnish is designed to help you choose the product that best suits your surfaces or pieces of wood. Here you will find relevant information that you could consider and also the different factors that you must take into account before making your purchase.
Formulation and benefits
Thanks to water-based varnishes, protecting the floor or furniture in your home is no longer a problem for your health or the environment. When you bet on these water-based products, low in solvent content, free of toxic chemicals and polluting odors, you contribute to a healthier environment and also minimize the environmental impact.
Something that differentiates water-based varnishes from their congeners is that they have a low formulation in organic and volatile compounds (less than 14%); chemicals that affect the body and the environment. You will be able to notice this when painting with a conventional varnish; once the protective layer has dried, the solvents evaporate, generating polluting emissions that have a negative impact on your health and the environment.
Some manufacturers, in order to provide more resistant finishes, have included polyurethane among their ingredients. However, this does not represent a risk of toxicity, since being diluted in an aqueous base, only harmless water vapor is generated during the drying process. For this reason, water-based varnishes are nature-friendly products.
In addition, when you apply a water-based varnish to a piece or wooden floor, it is capable of resisting knocks, traffic, household products and friction. It can also repel stains, grease and becomes more flexible to movement. Likewise, the surface does not crack or crack over time.
These varnishes not only take care of the wood, but best of all, they offer highly attractive finishes. Although they usually offer higher costs, compared to other similar products, the truth is that they are an investment in the medium and long term, given their resistance to daily use.
One of the factors that you should consider when making your comparison of water-based varnishes is the finish that the product in question gives you. As with conventional enamels, these varnishes also give you different finishes that vary between glossy, matte or satin.
Glossy varnishes are those that enhance the color of any wood. As long as they are matte, they are usually quite sturdy and very useful when it comes to window and door siding. The satin ones, on the other hand, are recommended to protect and cover wooden floors such as parquet.
Therefore, regardless of how much it costs, the idea is that you get a product that covers the surfaces according to your decorative style and preferences.
Presentation and color
Currently, the varnish market has a wide variety of presentations, in order to adapt to the needs of users and the surface that needs to be varnished.
For this reason, you can find bottles containing varnish that range from 350 ml to 20 liters of capacity. Choosing one or the other will depend on the area or the pieces you want to cover. Likewise, they are also presented in spray format; especially useful in the case of door or window frames.
In addition to offering protection, varnish is a product that also provides an aesthetic component to wood. Although most are colorless, some manufacturers have added color to their products to enhance the appearance of the part.
Before making a purchase decision, it is important that you define whether you want to highlight the wood grain or hide it by covering it with another tone. In case you prefer to enhance them, you could choose a clear varnish. If, on the other hand, you want to hide them or change their hue, a wise option could be to use a colored varnish; especially suitable for wood without previous treatment and located outside.
Drying and special treatments
One of the great advantages offered by water-based varnishes is their rapid drying, if we compare them with synthetic varnishes. Some can provide drying in as little as 30 minutes, while others take an average of 6 hours.
Likewise, some brands have integrated special anti-fungal treatments into their products, especially useful for wood exposed to moisture. Similarly, you can also find varnishes designed for outdoor spaces, so they have UV filters that deal with deterioration by the sun.
Knowing your options and the availability offered by the market, we can say that it will not be difficult to find an economical water-based varnish that suits your budget and your decorative needs.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: What is better water-based varnish or polyurethane?
One of the most important factors that could lead you to make a decision for one product or another is the level of toxicity. Polyurethane varnishes, despite the fact that they comply with the organic compound laws of the European Community (50% VOC), are still toxic. While water-based varnishes do not have more than 14% VOC (volatile organic compounds). Therefore, they are respectful with the environment and health.
Another important factor is the finish. In this sense, polyurethane varnishes give parquet great resistance, but could alter its color and texture. For their part, water-based varnishes maintain color while providing a natural texture to surfaces.
In terms of resistance, both products efficiently cope with traffic, liquids and grease spilled on surfaces.
Q2: How to apply a water-based varnish?
Varnishing is a process in which we must pay special attention to detail. Especially, it is vital to know the type of surface to be treated; Well, if it is a new piece, we should not treat it the same as we would an old one.
In the case of a new surface; first, it is necessary to sand to polish any imperfections and smooth completely. Subsequently, you must remove the dust with a soft bristle brush and the piece will be ready for varnishing. With the help of a brush, apply a layer evenly, taking care that there are no imperfections and always following the grain of the wood. Let dry for the time indicated by the manufacturer to apply a second coat.
Q3: How to use a water-based varnish?
The way to use the varnish will depend on the piece to be treated. However, in order not to make mistakes and to use it effectively, it is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and, if necessary, you should adjust the viscosity.
Likewise, remember that you must prepare the wood by cleaning and sanding it to open its pores; this in order to achieve better adherence.
In addition, it is advisable to use implements such as a brush, spray gun or a special varnish roller, and apply the product following the direction of the wood grain. On the other hand, it is preferable to use it in environments with low humidity and protected from sunlight.
The number of layers to apply will depend on the result you want to obtain. However, once the first layer has passed, it is advisable to wait for it to dry, sand gently to perfect its texture and then apply the second layer.
Q4: How to make a homemade water-based varnish?
To prepare water-based varnish you need to have some homemade ingredients on hand. Start by looking for white vinegar (cup and a half) and a steel sponge; pour the vinegar into a slightly covered glass jar and put the sponge inside and wait.
Make sure not to cover it completely, in order to allow the entry of oxygen that will take care of the oxidation process. After approximately 24 hours, remove the metal sponge from the vinegar and you will have obtained a homemade varnish that you can apply to the wood.
Q5: How to darken the water-based varnish?
One of the properties of the varnish, in addition to protecting the surfaces, is to add color to the wood. However, if you have a transparent varnish and you want to add a special tone to it, you can get inks made with the name of the wood they resemble on the market. There are shades such as oak, cedar, walnut, teak, among others; that could provide professional finishes.
It is advisable to follow the instructions for use to perform this task. However, it is recommended to use 60 cc of ink for each liter of varnish. In case you want to darken the tone of the wood more, it is necessary to apply another coat of the preparation to the surface.
Q6: How to dilute the water-based varnish?
The market has various types of varnishes and some require to be diluted before application. To know how much solvent to add, it is important to follow the brand’s instructions. However, professionals recommend diluting the varnish 50% and mixing it in equal parts with turpentine or mineral spirits.